About the Author: Bridget Hunter works in the Bureau of International Information Programs.
In a new kind of public-private partnership, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs James Glassman launched the State Department’s Democracy Video Challenge on September 15 at U.N. headquarters. The launch was timed to coincide with United Nations’ first International Day of Democracy. Partners for the online video contest include the State Department, democracy and youth organizations, academia, and the news, film and entertainment industries.
The contest, which asks aspiring filmmakers to complete the phrase “Democracy is …,” seeks to engage the world in sharing ideas about how democratic principles work -- or could work -- around the world. An independent panel of experts will identify finalists and the global audience will determine which entrants win a trip to the United States for gala screenings of their films and meetings with film industry professionals.
“We are creating opportunities for using emerging technology to engage in a discussion of democracy,” Jonathan Margolis, deputy coordinator of the State Department’s Bureau of International Information Programs, told the New York Times.
The competition represents another public diplomacy foray into the wired world.